Planning for a Christmas that won’t Break the Bank

Some legit money tips for the giving season. (Finance,Christmas)

Christmas Cards
Christmas Cards

Aussies are projected to spend a whopping $8.9 billion on gifts this year, an average of almost $500 per shopper. ASIC and Forwood Planning have revealed some tips on how you can save money this Christmas.

  • Out with the old

Spend some time clearing out anything you don’t want or need, particularly clothes, books, jewellery or furniture. You can sell them online, at a local trader or in a garage sale to help fund your Christmas shopping.

  • Be Organised

Lists can help you plan your spending and keep you on track. They are most effectively used for planning what groceries are needed for the big day, or even to organise who you’re buying pressies for and how much you’re prepared to spend. ASIC also offer a free smartphone app to help you track your spending.

  • Prepare in advance

Take advantage of food specials and buy in advance, particularly keeping an eye out for foods that can be frozen or have a long shelf life.

Early planning is also best for travel, to avoid paying last minute or peak season premiums. If you’re driving, work out when petrol will be cheapest.

You should also bag any bargains throughout the year, particularly during the Boxing Day sales. Contributing money to a high interest savings account from January can also be a lifesaver, as a contribution of $20 per payday is said to add up to over $1000 by Christmas.

  • Smart online shopping

Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, as you can avoid distractions and impulse buying. Some tips are to apply discount codes before checking out (chrome extensions like Honey or Coupon Hunter are super handy), as well as following your favourite brands on social media to hear about exclusive discounts. You should also take advantage of free shipping offers, and compare prices wherever possible, even when it comes to supermarkets.

  • Be Thrifty

Scrounge up any old gift cards you’ve received last Christmas or for past birthdays, to see if there are any left-over dollars you can put towards your shopping. You could also exchange your loyalty card points for gifts or grocery currency.

A visit to some op shops, antique stores or second-hand bookshops can also uncover some second-hand treasures that could make the most unique gift ideas.

Read more tips here.